Dems Still Pushing Web Censorship
While the chief baddy on SOPA – Lamar Smith – is a Republican, it is really the Democrats who are the ones still trying to censor the web.
MPAA head Chris Dodd is the former Democratic powerhouse (the same guy who blocked all financial reform). Dodd and Lieberman – another Democrat – have admitted that they want to emulate Chinese style censorship.*
Moreover, Raw Story notes:
Democrats are now the core pillars of support for the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), which has not otherwise engendered a strict partisan divide among lawmakers.
Far and away, the top beneficiary in the Senate from interest groups that support PIPA is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who’s taken in just short of a million dollars from those groups, according to data from OpenSecrets.org. She’s also the most recent Senator to co-sponsor PIPA, adding her name to the list on Dec. 12. The runner-up is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who’s taken $777,383 from PIPA-supporting interest groups, and has co-sponsored the bill since May 2011.
In fact, a list of the top 20 beneficiaries of special interest money in favor of PIPA reads like a list of the Senate’s most influential Democrats: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in third; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in fourth; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in fifth; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill’s primary sponsor, in sixth; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in seventh; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in eighth; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in ninth; and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in tenth.
The list goes on like that until Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who places 15th with $274,600 in special interest money promoting PIPA. He has not yet announced an official position on the bill. The only other Republican on the list of the top 20 PIPA beneficiaries in the Senate is Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), in 19th place with $212,312. Corker is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.
In total, only two Democrats changed their minds on PIPA during Wednesday’s blackouts: Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The other 11 to walk away were all Republicans, who seem more open to Silicon Valley’s warnings against onerous, job-killing regulations.
That may be due to the total sum donated to Democrats on the top 20 list: groups supporting PIPA have given over $7,319,983 to the 18 Democrats on the top 20 list, according to a Raw Story analysis. By contrast, those same Democrats have only taken in $807,502 from groups opposing the legislation.
As yesterday’s strike wore on, Raw Story reached out to all the leading Democratic senators supporting PIPA, in hopes they would step up to defend the bill. Not a single one did, and none of Raw Story’s requests for comments defending PIPA received responses.
The Obama administration said recently that it was hedging its bets on the anti-piracy bills as well ….
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that he would move forward with a full Senate vote on PIPA in the coming weeks, once some of the text had been altered to build consensus on the legislation.
* Wikipedia calls Lieberman an “Independent Democratic”.